Mount Pleasant – Molasses Creek Plantation

In the past few weeks I have been blogging on Neighborhoods in Mt. Pleasant.  Today I have chosen to talk about Molasses Creek Plantation. 

This subdivision is just to the Left of 17 as you are coming down the Ravenel Bridge into Mt. Pleasant.  It is just behind Scanlonville and backs up to Molasses Creek (image below).  There are 141 Homes/Lots in this subdivision.  The first homes were built in the late 80’s and have had newer homes built over the years. 

 The actual creek at the top part of Image above.

The actual creek at the top part of Image above.

Currently there are only 2 Homes for Sale with one of them being Active/Contingent (under contract with a buyer).  The A/C Home is on the market for $650,000 and has 3 BRs and 2.5 Baths.  The lots are nice size in the neighborhood, with this one being .34 acres.  The home that is still on the market, is going for $1,499,900 and has 4 BRs and 3 Baths.  It has a very nice curb appeal and has just over 3800 sqft.  It is right on Molasses Creek and has the dock right out the back.

Over the past year (2016) there looks to have been 7 homes Sold.  The sale prices range from $630,000 to $1,150,000 (on the creek and has amazing pool).

I am not seeing any vacant lots for sale at this time and as a matter of fact, there has only been 1 vacant lot sold since 2006 (Dec 2014). 

Stay Tuned next week as I will select another neighborhood just around the corner from Molasses Creek (Hobcaw Point).


Mount Pleasant –On the Harbor & River Reach (@ Remley’s Point)

These two neighborhoods are on the backside of this area at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge (again up river section).  On the Harbor has about 14 Homes (according to 2016 Town of Mt Pleasant Demographics Report).  This is a gated community and there are 21 total units approved.  At this time, I am not seeing any homes for sale there. The last home sold there, looks to be way back in May of 2015.  It was a 4098 sqft, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bath 3 story home which sold for $1.58 million.  It has the iconic view of the Ravenel Bridge and water access.  Currently there is 1 lot for sale and it is Lot #5 on the waterfront.  It is going for $1.199 million.  It is .32 acres in size.  If you want to build on it, let me know as I would be happy to assist you in this purchase.


As you can see from the image, it is quite secluded and a bit tricky to get back there (via 2nd street). 

Now River Reach (below image) is just to the west of On the Harbor (top area of above image).  The lots range in size from ¼ to 1.2 acres. There are 16 homes (as of 12-15) and a total of 23 units approved.  There looks to have been only 1 lot sold in the past year (back in May of 2016).  It sold for $740k and is 1.45 acres.  It has water access to Molasses Creek.

I am not seeing any Lots or Homes for sale at this time.  There have been 2 homes that sold in the past 2 years.  One sold in April of 2015 ($1.95 mil) and the other in September of 2015 ($2.98 mil).  If you have any interest in buying a vacant lot of a home, just give me a call.  I would be happy to assist you in finding the right property for you.



Next week let’s talk about Molasses Creek Plantation just to the North of these two neighborhoods I talked about today.

Gary Buchanan/Realtor® w/AgentOwned Realty -              843-647-7743

Mount Pleasant - Tides Condominiums

Yes, December is upon us.  I hope y’all have a great, merry, happy Holiday Season.   Now let’s talk about the Tides Condominiums, which are located at the base of the Ravenel Bridge (up river side, or left side as you are going North on 17). 

1.       Number of Condos total – Approximately 120 Condos (Buildings I, II & III having ~40 units each) and ~54 units in Building IV

a.       Four Buildings (I, II, III & IV) – Image Below

2.       Number of Condos For Sale now, and what are some of the details

a.       Tides I – One; 3br/3.5bth; 2007 built, 2437sqft - $1,550,000 ($636/sqft)

b.       Tides II – Four ranging from $879k- $1.425,000 ($434, $495, $523, $535 Price/SqFt)

c.       Tides III – Two at $1.425 Mil and $1.450 Mil; Built 2008

d.       Tides IV (latest development ~54 Units) – Seven ranging from $949k to $1,950,000

e.       Of the ones for Sale – 2-3 Bedrooms, and Penthouse (2900/sqft)

f.        Very nice Amenities and right next to Waterfront Park and HOA’s range from ~$1032/mth to $2686/mth

3.       Number of Sold Condos the last 6 Months

a.       One is Active Contingent - $1.645Mil; 3br/3.5bth; 3383sqft; building 1; $486/sqft listing price

b.       49 Sold since June 1, 2016

c.       Sold Price from $437,253 (1br/1.5bth) to $2,181,234 (3br/3.5bth; 3025sqft @ $721.07/sqft (brand new)


Gary Buchanan/Realtor® w/AgentOwned Realty -              843-647-7743

Mount Pleasant Neighborhoods

It is time to move on to another subject area.  The last 5+ months I was telling y’all about how to pick and buy a home that requires some Rehab and I took you step by step.  Now I think I will change gears and write about all of the neighborhoods in this beautiful Charleston Area.  I will start with the most popular area of the Tri-County area, Mount Pleasant.  I figure it will take me a few months to go over all of them.  Some of them I don’t know much about, so it is a great learning experience for me as well.  I will research and make my goal to give you relevant Real Estate info.

My plan is to move in a clockwise direction starting at the base of the Ravenel Bridge, on the west side of Highway 17 (Johnnie Dodds Blvd in this section of 17).   Here are some of the first neighborhoods I will be talking about in the coming 3-5 weeks:

1.       Tides Condominiums – As you are coming down the Ravenel Bridge into Mt. Pleasant, you can look to your Left and see the complex.  At this time, I am seeing 14 Condos for sale and they are not cheap as this is prime Real Estate.

2.       East Bridge Town Lofts – Farther up Wingo Way (on the left, as there are all those hotels on the right and some other businesses) you find these Condos that have been around since the mid-late 80’s. 

3.       The Village at Heron Lake – Just across the street from East Bridge Town Lofts (Alexandra Dr.).  These are single family detached homes.  These homes look to be built in the mid-late 90’s and at this time I am not seeing any homes for sale.  This must be a nice place to live as no one is selling (we shall dig deeper in the coming weeks).

4.       Harbour Watch – This is looks to be a new and older neighborhood.  There are newly built very large homes (5000 sq ft) overlooking the marsh and the Cooper/Wando River (you know these are going to get top dollar).  Then there are homes built in the late 90’s just inland a bit.

That is what the plan is for now, and stay tuned for the next 3-5 months to learn more about the wonderful neighborhoods of Mt. Pleasant, SC.

If you need help finding your Next Home, feel free to get in touch with me.  I would be happy to represent you in a Buying Effort.  If you are looking to Sell your Home, I am well suited to assist you as well, since I know how the Buyer Agent thinks.

Gary Buchanan/Realtor® w/AgentOwned Realty -              843-647-7743

Fishing Anyone.?

I figure by now you all have read so much on Homes, it was time for a change.  If you are from out of town/state, and you like to fish, let me know.  Does the Charleston Area offer good fishing..?  I have been a “fisherman” for most of my life, so moving away from Illinois, one of my requirements was that I needed Water around me.  Boy……Charleston has fulfilled that requirement. 

So, where do you go fishing around the Charleston Area.?  We have many rivers, intercoastal waterways and The Ocean.  I am no expert, so I went with a group of 3 others on a Chartered Fishing trip.  We went out to the Jetties, then a small channel off the intercoastal up by Isle of Palms. 

1.       Jetties – It is my understanding the Jetties are manmade and were created to assist with keeping a shipping lane easily open for the shipping industry.  I read that it was created 120 years or so ago.

 Good fight on my hands.  A bit chilly, but no complaints here.

Good fight on my hands.  A bit chilly, but no complaints here.


2.       Intercoastal – It would take me too long to explain the Intercoastal.  Basically, it is a boat highway that stretches all the way up/down the east coast.  It is an easier way for boaters to navigate up and down the east coast, as you don’t have to go out into the Atlantic Ocean (mostly).


The 3rd area of fishing is, of course the Rivers....we have a few here, but I have yet to get out to them.  I hear the Spot Tail (some call them red fish) get up there and we know those are some good fish to catch.  I will post those adventures once I experience them.

If you are looking for a pleasure Cruise, we have that too so let me know and I can give a name or two for a nice time on the water:



If you are wanting to learn more about the Fishing in the Charleston Area, let me know.  I can give you some ideas and point you to a Captain that knows the area better than myself. 


Gary Buchanan/Realtor® w/AgentOwned Realty -              843-647-7743

You are going to CLOSING

Finally you have gotten from the “Let’s look at homes” stage, to the actual “Closing”.  You have had so many vendors in to review the house and give opinions on fixes, pricing and more.  Now you are a few weeks out from Closing.  What do you do…….?  Nothing left to do right..?   Well, let’s go over the Closing Checklist.  All good Realtors® have Checklists….!

Let’s break the checklist out into sections of Responsibility:

        1.       Buyers
        2.       Buyer Agent

1.       Buyer – Here is what you should be thinking about and doing:

a.       Verify Lender is still moving forward and YOU have given them Everything they have requested and need.

b.      By now you should have selected a Closing Attorney, so work closely with your Realtor® to verify the Attorney’s Office has all the paperwork, dates and dollars verified.

c.       Verify the Home Warranty is in place…again work closely with your Realtor®

d.      Get Home Owners Insurance checked out in detail and get that finalized and give them Closing Attorney details and dates.

e.      Read over covenants and restrictions (if your new neighborhood has HOA).  Ask your Realtor® for them if he/she hasn’t provided yet.

f.        Call your Utility Company/s to get services put into Your Name the day of Closing.

2.       Buyer Agent- Here is what most Buyer Agents would be looking to take care of and make sure things are on task:

a.       Discuss things with the Lender to make sure Closing Dates will be hit and get idea how much Buyer needs to “bring to the table”.

b.      Verify the HUD/Closing Disclosure is going to be delivered 3 days prior to Closing.

c.       Discuss things with Attorney/Paralegal to make sure all the Title details are going as scheduled. 

d.      Help Buyer on All their Tasks as needed. 

e.      Get copy of existing Title Policy from Seller (if you can, as it can be re-assigned, thus saving a few dollars on Owners Title Insurance.

f.        Get Pre-Final Loan Approval from the Lender so you can satisfy Section 7 (Finance Section) of the Contract.

g.       Verify how the Earnest Money will be transferred to the Closing.

h.      Is there a current Survey/Plat of the property….work on getting one to Buyer.

i.         Discuss Flood Insurance again with the Buyers (X Zone still should think about Flood Insurance)

j.        Get Final Walk Through scheduled (the morning of Closing)

k.       Verify commissions for selling and buyer agent, by discussing with the Attorney/Paralegal.

Wow…..I think that is a good start on the Checklist.  Also think about the Attorney and the Lender having a checklist too.  They should be reaching out to the Buyer and Buyer Agent to get their final details done.

I hope this is somewhat helpful for you.  Please let me know if I can help you some day.

Gary Buchanan/Realtor® w/ AgentOwned Realty -              843-647-7743

Talking to Your Contractor on Rehab Costs

Let’s break down your Rehab into Vendor Costs.  You can read over last week’s blog to get a general idea on The Scope.  Remember, that the Scope WILL CHANGE, so don’t beat up your contractor for going Over Budget.  Plan for it and keep up on Each Add/Change that comes up.  You Will Have the option to say Yeah or Na, on things.

For starters, KISS (keep it simple stupid).  Get your trusty spreadsheet out and get with your contractor and list Who all the Vendors will be.  Then get your Quotes from all the Vendors and General Contractor and insert those costs into your Rehab Cost Sheet.  Note that this sheet below is NOT to be taken as Fact on Costs.  I am just putting things into a spreadsheet to help you Start the Conversation with your Contractor and Vendors.  Once you have all the quotes, then you add them to Your Spreadsheet so you are up to speed on what The Rehab should cost.

Once you have your Ball Park numbers, you have the Final Say So on whether you continue with the Purchase of this Home (10+ blogs ago……).  Is it worth it to sink all this money into this home.?  Discuss it with your Realtor® as he/she can advise on this, by again doing a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis).  You can also order a formal Appraisal.  The future of Real Estate is unpredictable, so you have to go with your gut on that side of the equation.

Next week I will move forward with the Steps on ending Due Diligence…..yep….it has taken a lot to get to the End of Due Diligence.

Final Discussion w/ Your Contractor about the Rehab Costs – During Due Diligence

If you remember we were discussing this subject back in June (Blog-June 17 or so).  So since your Due Diligence Period is close to Ending, YOU need to make that final decision.  Is this the House You Still Think It Is.?  You had your Home Inspected thoroughly by all your key vendors and now the last piece of the puzzle.  Can you Afford The Rehab and does it make sense for That Area of the city?  Here are the Topics you were to consider back in June:

  1. Is the home in a hot neighborhood (ex: Park Circle, Mt Pleasant, Wagener Terrace on the peninsula, etc.).?
  2. How much work is involved and is it more than the home will be worth?
  3. Is this a Flip or are you planning on Living there for 3+ years? 

In this case you want to stay in the home for the next 3+ years.  You are looking to update the home and add the following Rehab Items:

  1. Gut and Replace the Kitchen – this is a blog post or two on its own, as you can image
  2. Add a bedroom where a Den/Office was
  3. Do some cosmetic work like:
    • Update Dining Room ceiling – seems too low and claustrophobic and there are decorative beams across that should be removed
    • Remove all the popcorn from the ceiling and make them all smooth finish
    • Replace the carpeted areas with Wood or Wood Laminate (depending on budget)
  4. Replace the Heating and Air Conditioning – Duct-work replaced as well
  5. Update Electrical in the house, budget permitting
    • Add another Electric Box to provide some more room to expand
    • Add Grounded Sockets in Key places (budget doesn’t allow for Full Replacement)
    • Update all light switches and sockets (most switches/sockets are from the original home build)
    • Adding lighting in the kitchen (LED can lights are nice)
    • Get new (to code) hook ups for the Dishwasher and garbage disposal under new kitchen sink
    • Add new ceiling fans in all rooms since the existing ones have seen their better days (styling, etc)
  6. Get gutters installed, as the concrete slab seems to be holding more water than it should.
  7. Add gas line to allow for a Gas Stove (still having the 220 volt there for the electric oven) from the meter, through the attic to the kitchen. The home luckily has gas installed for the water heater and dryer.
  8. Add all new window treatments – blinds (thick 2 inch and curtain rods).

These are the key items on this day (in your mind), but be assured that things will change as you will find things during the teardown/rehab.  You want to get some Firm Commitment from your Contractor on Timing and Price for the above.  This is the time for you to haggle and make sure you are getting what you want and at the price you would expect.  One way to verify the numbers is to break things down into days or weeks.  What is your contractors Day Rate (for common labor or engineering type labor).?  I am not going to put solid numbers into this Blog about what It Should Cost, as every project is different.  I will try to get you some Ball Park numbers though.

Ok….next week as I explained in my last blog, I will continue to write about Making Sure you and your contractor are on the same page with Scope and Costs.

You are close to Ending your Due Diligence

Now remember that you have 10 business days until your Due Diligence period is Over.  You should strive to get all issues found out and then a week or so prior to the end of Due Diligence, you deliver the Repair Addendum with all the Issues That Were Found, describing what you would like the Sellers to do about them.  Today, we will talk about the CL100 Report/Findings.

The CL100 is ordered/paid (in most cases) by the Buyer.  This inspection can also be something your Lender requires, and in any case, I would recommend every time.  Officially this inspection looks for (straight off the SC State Form): termites, other wood-destroying organisms, and wood-destroying fungi. Now keep in mind that the inspector can Not see behind walls, so this inspection is really looking for “signs of infestation”.  This report is only good for 30 days as well. 

Your CL100 inspector has crawled under the home (if accessible) and looking at all areas of the home searching for any of the above issues.  If something is found, then the inspector writes it on the State Form (CL-100) and delivers the findings (the form) to the buyer.   Since you are still under Due Diligence, add these findings to the Repair Addendum and make sure you ask that the repairs be done by a SC Licensed Contractor/Plumber/Electrician, etc.  In some cases the Seller would simply do the repairs themselves and you are stuck with their fixes, if you didn't specify using a SC Licensed contractor.

Once the repairs are done, then your contractor should document the fix as being completed so you the Buyer can have record for anyone who is going to require a Cleared CL100 (it is my understanding that “CL” stands for Clear Letter…fyi….so kinda redundant here…smile).  Remember, that the CL100 Inspector is Not Guaranteeing that the home doesn’t have any of the above infestations, it is simply stating the Inspector did Not see any Infestation at the time of the inspection. 

The bottom line, we are in a Buggy and Swampy area (technical term….smile) and I would ALWAYS recommend getting with your local Exterminator company and have them put a Termite Bond on the Home.  In a lot of the cases, you as the buyer can simply get the existing Termite Bond transferred from the Seller’s protection on the home, to your name (sometimes there is a fee to do this).  The alternative would be to get a Termite Bond asap and this would cost more than a Transfer Fee.

Ok….we are getting close to the end of Due Diligence, and next week I will try to cover the last piece of This Due Diligence period, by talking about what the General Contractor is suggesting for Rehab and Costs associated.  I would think that will be 2 or 3 posts as there are a lot of things you (the Buyer) want to be done so you can make it your new Home.

Your Inspection Continues – HVAC Vendor

Today we will go over the Findings the Heating and Air Conditioning technician has found (HVAC for short).  It is always a good idea to get an AC/Heating tech out to inspect the system.  If you know it is a newer home, you should have a better idea of the age.  Older homes have probably had their system replaced at least once, and it is not always known how old the units are.  Your HVAC tech can run the serial/model numbers to get the detail you need to make a decision on your path to replacing or not.

In this case, there is one really old AC Unit outside the house and an updated (past 15+ years) heater and blower inside the house.  The ducting is very old and some joints are coming loose.  You can have the HVAC tech reattach those loose joints and provide you with some idea on how dirty the ducting is.  Knowing that this ducting is at least 30 years old will easily help you with your decision.  The HVAC units all check out as to them “working”, but you also have to understand that “working” in this case will cost you a lot more in electricity/gas.  The HVAC is holding good pressure and producing nice cool air (95 degrees this day).  You have the option to keep the system and make sure your seller provides a Home Warranty, so you know it will have repairs under warranty (except the service fee…$70-$150 depending on what plan you have). 

The heating unit is showing no signs of failure or inadequate heat distribution.  The HVAC tech points out that there are many safety systems this older unit is lacking.  One of them has to do with the potential of a CO leak.  Wow….that is something to really think about.

After a thorough checkup, the HVAC tech sends all the Pros and Cons of the system for your consideration.  Do you want to leave the old system in place for another year or so, thus allowing you to save some money over the next 12-18 months, or do you currently know you have the budget to replace it now?  If you replace it now or later, you do know that you want to replace ALL the ducting as well.  The HVAC tech gives you some general idea on replacement costs and in this case, you are looking at $12,000-$15,000, depending on what brands/models you choose. 

Keep this number in mind (document it on your budget tracking spreadsheet) as it will go with the overall Rehab Budget and provide some input on what Upgrades you decide in the overall Rehab project.  If you can hold off on getting the HVAC replaced, then you can put a little more money towards the Rehab project.  It is really up to you and the numbers.

Next week we will go over the CL100 Report.